Did you know that just by having your child attend one of the thousands of Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) services around Australia, you are setting them up for success?
According to Early Childhood Australia (ECA), there is strong evidence to support that ‘when children have access to inclusive, positive and rich early learning experiences, they are more likely to go on to become successful learners, with higher levels of wellbeing.’
While promoting the upcoming Early Learning Matters Week 2020 (ELMW), Early Childhood Australia also shared that ‘Children who attend early learning services are less likely (by 33%) to be developmentally vulnerable when they start school than those who do not attend early learning services.’
While the numbers of children using early learning services in Australia has risen from just under 35 per cent in 2009 to nearly 45 per cent in 2018, there are still groups of children that are experiencing inequity.
As Early Childhood Australia shares, ‘Children living in remote areas, children from Indigenous backgrounds, children from non–English speaking backgrounds, and those with a disability are under-represented in early learning services.’
The goal of ELMW 2020 is to help share the benefits of early learning, address barriers to participation in areas where access is unequal or inadequate, ensure funding is stable and that families aren’t missing out on early education and care due to cost, to support professional development and training in the workforce, and to ensure that quality early education and care is available to everyone.
‘Children living in remote areas, children from Indigenous backgrounds, children from non–English speaking backgrounds, and those with a disability are under-represented in early learning services.’
Toddle spoke with Janet Williams-Smith, General Manager, Early Learning for TRY Australia and a member of the National Board of Directors of Early Childhood Australia. TRY Australia operates Early Childhood Education and Care and sessional kindergarten centres and is a formal supporter of ELMW 2020.
‘TRY is committed to raising awareness of the importance of early childhood experiences and the importance of good early learning opportunities being available to all children,’ says Janet.
‘Good quality Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) contributes to a foundational developmental time in a child’s life when they are growing their bones and forming their neural pathways. What research tells us is that what happens to children early in life has a life-long lasting impact.
In the years before school, children are learning critical things such as how to socialise, build resilience, develop self-confidence and self-regulation as well as really important skills such as problem solving, language development and communication.
ELMW shines a light on the really important work that is being undertaken by educators at this foundational time in children’s lives and it highlights some of the fabulous teaching and learning that is happening in our ECEC services.
ELMW gives children a voice to be heard and draws attention from our communities, parents and politicians. How we educate children in the early years is a political issues and there is much to be done to support our governments in policy reform, funding activity and advocacy.
Being able to showcase early childhood in all arenas is very important and ELMW is a great platform to bring our politicians’ focus to their local ECEC communities.
ECA has a vision that every young child is thriving and learning and this fits with TRY Australia’s vision that all children and young people have the opportunity to achieve great educational and work outcomes. It is because of this that TRY Australia is delighted to be a part of this advocacy week.’
You can find out more about ELMW 2020 here, and support it yourself in the following ways:
- Share photos showing how you support early learning and care services
- Send a message explaining why early learning is important to you and your family
- Join and interact with the ELMW 2020 Facebook page
- Speak with your child care centre to find out more about ELMW 2020 and what your centre is doing to offer their support.
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